Digital History>eXplorations>Lynching>The Debate Over Lynching Begins>Jane Addams

Jane Addams
Independent Magazine (January, 1901)

To those who say that most of these hideous and terrorizing acts have been committed in the name of chivalry, in order to make the lives and honor of women safe, perhaps it is women themselves who can best reply that bloodshed and arson and ungoverned anger have never yet controlled lust. On the contrary, that lust has always been the handmaid of these, and is prone to be found where they exist; that the suppression of the bestial cannot be accomplished by the counter exhibition of the brutal only. Perhaps it is woman who can best testify that the honor of women is only secure in those nations and those localities where law and order prevail; that the sight of human blood and the burning of human flesh has historically been the signal for lust; that an attempt to allay and control it by scenes such as those is as ignorant as it is futile and childish.

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